Making the Most of Your Industry Association Membership in Crisis

In times of crisis, our network is one of the most valuable resources we have to lean on. As a member of an industry association, your network goes further and deeper with wedding professionals across the industry, especially in your local chapter.

Beyond network support, industry associations also provide invaluable educational opportunities that can be particularly useful when facing a crisis as we have this year with COVID-19. Although it can't put an end to a situation, association membership can help you navigate the circumstances with more ease and solidarity.

If you’re new to a group or perhaps just seeking more involvement in your association’s local chapter, here’s how you can make a difference during a crisis and beyond. 

Get your hands dirty

From managing online directories to coordinating educational webinars to recruiting new members, it takes a lot to keep an association active and running. Since it’s not a business with employees performing these tasks, it’s up to the group’s members to shoulder these responsibilities. If you want your chapter to grow and thrive, you need to invest your own time and energy into it.

During a crisis, do what you can to get involved and sign up for committees that interest you. Consider where your talents lie and how you can use them to help your fellow members rise above the adversity and power through as a group. Perhaps that means volunteering to source experts for an educational series or starting a fundraiser for members in need— contribute wherever you feel like you can make a difference.

Offer your services

If you don’t have the time or capacity to be a full-fledged committee member, offer up your services as needed. Maybe you’ve weathered a crisis or two in the past and have some wisdom to offer. Perhaps you’re a photographer willing to provide your services during a socially-distanced meeting to help members freshen up their headshots.

Even the smallest gestures can make a world of difference, so if you're in a position to contribute your time—even on a one-time basis—there is no better opportunity than to do so amidst a crisis when your colleagues need help the most.

Become a leader

For those who have already checked off these boxes and are an active member of an association, it may be an excellent time to seek a leadership position and help steer the group in the way of a prosperous future. Consider the roles that would be most suitable for your skillset and your schedule. You might realize being a president is more than you can take on, but rather being a chairperson (or co-chair) of a committee is right up your speed.

In times of crisis and uncertainty, leadership is the single most valuable quality required to weather the storm. A strong leader at the top will help members stay focused on their goals and work through the crisis's challenges — whether it's a global pandemic, a natural disaster, or a significant loss in the community. If you feel prepared to lead your industry peers in the right direction, it's time to invest the time and energy required to inspire resiliency and steadfastness.

Industry associations provide so much value, but they rely fully on the commitment of their members. As Aristotle coined the term, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" — the same goes for an association chapter. The chapters that thrive are those with members who commit to lifting the group up, especially during a crisis.

Jennifer Taylor is the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development. She is also the owner and founder of Taylor’d Event Group, a leading event planning company that serves local and destination clients in Washington State and Maui, HI.

Share this post: